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  1. #1
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    Short Story-Perspectives-Some Adult Language

    Hi guys If any of you would be so kind as to provide me with feedback, I would be most appreciative. I can take it.


    Perspectives by N. Flikkema

    Finally, the day had arrived. I woke up early, exfoliated, and even curled my hair with hot rollers. I felt prepared for my interview at Elle Magazine. A long shot, but nevertheless, my dream job. I’d practiced interview questions and role-played scenarios in the mirror for weeks. Today, I’d get my shot.

    I stared at my reflection, feeling pleased. I wasn’t a traditional beauty, but my new lip plumper seemed to work great.

    Reluctant to make the drive from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania to New York City by myself, I’d placed an ad on Craigslist. A young woman, Alexis, contacted me. She had a commitment in New York too, so offered me a ride.

    I watched snow land on branches of the old Japanese Maple. Soon thereafter, a red SUV pulled into my circular brick driveway. When Alexis stepped out, my jaw dropped. She towered at about 5’11, and weighed in at 110, tops. Her long, honey-colored hair flowed half way down her perfectly contoured back. I hated her already.

    I tugged my suitcase down the concrete stairs. “Hi, I’m Julie. You must be Alexis.”

    “Nice to meet you, Julie.” She smiled bright, and shook my hand. Great energy. I bet she lit up every room she entered.

    “Looks like you found the place okay.”

    “Thank you Julie. Perfect directions,” she winked. “I hope you don’t mind we have to leave a little earlier. I hate the highway, so I found a great back way. It adds about an hour; but it will be a pretty drive.”

    We drove for miles, and got along great. We clicked instantly. I learned she had a fashion shoot in the city about the same time as my interview. Alexis asked me interview questions, even helping me perfect my answers. We had a lot in common. She also had parents who wished she’d chosen a different career path.

    “My parents think it’s awful I’ve given up having a family to pursue my dream.”

    “Mine too,” I said.

    “Get this. My dad was taking one of those internet quizzes. He had to type one word to describe me, and he typed selfish. Can you believe that? Well, he laughed as he said it, so that’s supposed to make it better, I guess.”

    “Sounds just like my dad. And, I’m no shrink, but I’d classify that as passive aggressive behavior.” I smirked.

    We chatted for another hour about moisturizer, blackjack, and reality television. Then, the conversation shifted towards alcohol.

    “I love Amaretto Sours,” Alexis said. “I could bathe in a tub of it. What’s your favorite drink?”

    “I’m an all-American girl. I stick to Budweiser and shots of Cuervo.”

    “You’re a riot, Julie.”

    All the sudden, snow started spiraling down. Within seconds, visibility was terrible. Alexis thrust the wipers on max.

    “Sh1t, this is my brother’s car, and I don’t know how to put it in four wheel drive.”

    “I’ll help you.” I reached over to locate the switch just as she lost control of the vehicle. We slid twenty feet down an embankment.

    “Holy Sh1t. Are you okay?”

    I nodded, then checked my phone. No signal. “You got reception?”

    “Negative. Do you think we should walk up to hitch a ride?”

    “I can’t miss my interview.”

    “I know the feeling. If I miss this shoot, my agency will probably drop me, and I’ll lose my house.”

    We trekked up the hill. Then, we waited and waited. Twenty minutes later, not a single car drove by. Alexis and I slumped against a rusty guard rail.

    “This sucks, Julie. I’m so sorry.”

    “It’s not your fault,” I said.

    Forty five minutes later, headlights drew near. The two of us stood in the middle of the road, flapping our arms. A silver Maserati, sporting vanity plates reading, “Ahh Yeah,” pulled up. The hottie powered down his window. His muscular arms, dark hair, dark skin, and emerald green eyes instantly thawed my troubles.

    “Thanks so much for stopping,” I said.

    “No problem. I’m Rick.” He shook our hands through the window.

    “I’m Alexis, and this is Julie.” The model pointed down the hill. “And that’s our car.”

    Rick shook his head. “That bites, but I’m glad you’re alright.”

    “Any chance you’re headed to New York?” Alexis asked.

    “As a matter of fact, I am,” he beamed. “But, as you can see, this is a two-seater. I can only take one of you.”

    Alexis looked at me. “Go ahead Julie.”

    I bit my tongue. “You go, Alexis. My job is a long-shot anyway. I don’t really have a chance.”

    “I insist, Julie. Please get into the car, and go get your job.”

    I said, “Tell you what, I’ll play you rock, paper, scissors.”

    “Really?” She looked at me sideways. “Okay.”

    “One, two, three,” Rick said.

    I flashed rock as she flashed paper. I saw my lifelong dream smothered by a metaphorical sheet of paper. “Call me when you get back into town, will ya?”

    She tensed the muscles in her face. “You sure?”

    “Absolutely. You won, fair and square. Don’t forget to call a tow truck and your brother as soon as you get a signal.”

    “Will do. Thanks Julie.”

    The bombshell got in the car, and they drove away, hauling my dreams with them. I sat atop my briefcase, thinking about all the times in high school when I got beat out by someone like Alexis. Whether it was cheerleading, fundraising contests, or a date for the prom, I’d always lose. It only figured she’d defeat me at a kid’s games.

    About forty-five minutes later, I acquired a signal. I phoned a shuttle company to take me back to Harrisburg. I also called Elle. No surprise, I didn’t get another shot.

    I walked into my living room, chucked my briefcase on the maple coffee table, and sank deep into the couch. Then, I flipped on the television.

    “The body of a Harrisburg woman was found in Canton just minutes ago. Authorities say she was brutally raped and murdered. Officials are still waiting to notify the family, so names are not yet being released.”

    The next day, reporters confirmed the victim was Alexis. I’d never been so miserable and grateful at the same time; and I felt so guilty. It should’ve been me.

    I stopped by the tavern to choke down an Amaretto Sour in Alexis’ honor. After that, I headed to the police station, happy to provide information that planted the gorgeous murdering lunatic’s ass in a prison cell. Hopefully for life without parole. I guess psychopathic killers probably shouldn’t have vanity plates.



  2. #2
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    Off the top of my head, I feel there is too much telling, instead of showing. Not to start things off poorly, I'm just saying. In the first sentence, exfoliated is sort of a dangling modifier. It's partially unclear what is being exfoliated(To me anyway). Dialog is a bit stiff. Not really sure what to make of :
    I wasn’t a traditional beauty, but my new lip plumper seemed to work great.
    After reading this, I get the feel you're dusting off cobwebs. Your writing doesn't seem to flow for at least the first few sentences. The biggest problem I see is that you're still trying to get it all down on paper, and things are getting lost in transition. A prime example is:

    We drove for miles, and got along great.
    I think the picture in your head is a lot different than what you have on the paper. I would complete the story and work out the kinks in a rewrite.
    Last edited by Author Pendragin; 07-08-2012 at 12:15 PM.

  3. #3
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    Thanks Author Pen! I appreciate your feedback. I felt something wasn't right w/ the dialog and describing it as stiff makes sense.

    And exfoliating and lip plumper wouldn't mean much to a guy. I think I was trying to hard to get into 'character' b/c Julie is far different than myself. I was trying too hard to think like her.

    I will keep at it. Thanks again.

  4. #4
    Senior Member John Oberon's Avatar
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    I don't buy the premise. Julie got an interview with Elle, but she's reluctant to drive to NYC alone? She intentionally injects the complication of a total stranger into her "big chance"? If this is really her "big chance", I think it's a strong possibility Julie would go to NYC the day before the interview and stay overnight. The whole story rang false to me, and moved way too fast.

  5. #5
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    Thanks John-You are probably right (I know I would go the day before myself). Can you offer any other way I should start it off to make it more believable? Another scenario? Make her more impulsive or flighty? Did she get her license taken away due to two DUIs and her family and friends are playing 'though love' so she was forced to go with a stranger? Maybe her own car could get hit the day before (but then she'd probably rent another). Or if anyone else has any ideas, I'd be so happy to hear them.


    Also, I cut a lot out due to the 1000 word maximum in the rules. So, the longer version doesn't move as fast.

    Like most of my stories, I had the end in mind first, and I built backwards. Sounds like it shows unfortunately.

    Thanks very, very much for your help, btw.
    Last edited by rogue writer; 07-09-2012 at 12:55 PM.

  6. #6
    Senior Member John Oberon's Avatar
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    Well, first, if Julie has an interview with Elle, she's somewhat of a high-powered individual - smart and talented. She has a reputation that Elle has noticed. Elle doesn't just interview people off the street. A woman like that is not afraid to drive to NYC alone. In fact, she'd probably fly.

    I think I'd demote Julie a few rungs on the social/economic ladder. Something like a dirt poor, wannabe actress headed to NYC to work in her uncle's pizza shop. She's headed to NYC because that's where the acting jobs are. She shares a ride to cut down on expenses. That's a heckuva lot more believable to me.

  7. #7
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    John-That sounds good. I appreciate your ideas/help.

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